First of all, congratulations on your surgery being over. I had the same pothole experience, even though I thought I prepared by getting one of those inflatable vinyl donuts to sit on as a shock absorber. Worked, partially. I also had the testicular pain, especially after walking, which my doctor wanted me to do at one mile a day until the cath came out and then three miles a day after the cath came out. I have wondered about what happens with the produce of the jewels, because in the process of getting a prostatectomy, you get a vasectomy, too...with a vengence! Anybody's doctor tell them what happens to testicular output, when the road is permanently closed to the prostate/seminal vesicles?
Anyway, my testosterone was low, which is what got me into this situation in the first place. My internist found that my T level was in the 190s (300-900 is normal) when he first tested it, about 4 or 5 years ago. He said that he wanted me to be sure and get DREs and PSAs faithfully while I was on T replacement, because he said it could make PCa show up. Then, one day, he called and said I had a PSA of 4.4, "one toke over the line," as the old song goes, and to get to a urologist ASAP. Well, I didn't plot all those years of the levels of PSA until after I had been diagnosed, but after I had surgery and was sitting around, I got the past labwork out and plotted it. It went up at an exponential rate.
Now, there are a lot of studies that deny that T gives you PCa, and, obviously, for you and me, low T doesn't protect you from getting it. I did some medical literature searches and found that there is a controversy about giving T supplementation before or after the diagnosis and treatment of PCa. There were many papers that relate low T with an increased risk of PCa (go figure). On the other hand, chemical and surgical castration are used to treat advanced PCa.
There is a Dr. Morgentaler at Harvard Medical School and a Dr. Kaufman in Colorado who say that if a person has low T they should get supplementation, because it doesn't give one PCa, and the adverse health effects of low T are not good either--osteoporosis, cardiovascular problems, increased body fat, sluggishness and fatigue, loss of libido and erectile dysfunction, and depression. My doctor did a T level on me at the same time I got my first post-op PSA, and it was still in the 190s (see my signature area). He told me I should get on the supplementation, that if I came in with non-advanced PCa and a normal level of T, he wouldn't castrate me at that point. So, supplementation is bringing one up to normal. For the controversy, you can go to the National Library of Medicine site called Pub Med (for real!), http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?DB=pubmed, and in the search window, type in testosterone-supplementation AND prostate-cancer. This will give you a few studies and some more links to other studies. If you click on the name(s) in the bibligraphical list, it will give you summaries of these reports.
I believe all this, in principle, but am waiting to see at least another undetectable PSA before I go back for the supplementation (per Swimom's suggestion). There was another guy, either on this website or on the other website I used to frequent on www.msnbc.com, the forum on the site for their series about PCa called Low Blow (see, low T can affect your memory, as well), who said he felt like dirt before getting on T supplementation, but felt like a new man afterwards. So, it's very tempting. I am up for another PSA at the end of this month, and have an appointment with the endocrine guy in the Baylor Urology Department to talk about getting back on AndroGel. I'll let you know what happens.
Keep up the good work of healing,
Your partner in daVinci prostatectomies and low testosterone
PSA (10/04): 2.9; PSA (2/06):4.4, on Androgel (serum T about 450) at age 56; negative DRE, no symptoms.
PSA (5/06):5.7 with a free PSA% of 8, OFF Androgel (serum T 163).
Biopsy (5/06): 4/12 samples positive; postitive samples only on right side; max Gleason 4+3=7 (in 2 of the 4 -from area nearest bladder.
DaVinci robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy + bladder lift + Right nerve plastic surgery (8/23/06).
Catheter out 4 weeks postop, due to internal pinhole leak at bladder-urethra junction.
Final pathology report:T2c-both sides,but in capsule; neg. margins, neg. lymph nodes, neg. seminal vesicles; final max Gleason still 4+3=7.
Follow-up PSA (11/06): <0.008; serum T: 195 OFF Androgel (at present).